WEST ORANGE, NJ — Leading up to the Austism Speaks Walks in Morristown on Oct. 8 and in Cranford on Oct. 16, Autism Speaks will be hosting a kick-off dinner at the Turtle Back Zoo on Thursday, July 28 for anyone interested in learning more about the events.

According to Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, the kick-off on Thursday is a great opportunity to meet other Team Captains, to learn about team-building and fundraising, to hear about plans for Walk Day and to find out how funds raised make an impact for the autism community.

Hosted by the organization, the 2016 Greater Morris Area and North Central NJ Autism Speaks Walk Kick-Off Dinner in West Orange will be held at 5:30 p.m., with dinner beginning at 6 p.m. and is free to anyone interested in the Greater Morris Area Autism Speaks Walk on Saturday, Oct. 8 in Morristown, or the North Central NJ Walk on Sunday, Oct. 16 at Nomahegan Park in Cranford.

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To RSVP at http://events.autismspeaks.org/Zoo.

“Autism Speaks Walk,” sponsored by Alpha Xi Delta, is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds in the autism community, a group of complex, developmental brain disorders called “autism spectrum disorders.”

Autism spectrum disorders are caused by a combination of genes and environmental influences and are characterized by communication difficulties, social and behavioral challenges and repetitive behaviors. According to Autism Speaks, an estimated one in 68 children in the U.S. is on the autism spectrum.

The Walks are a grassroots movement powered by people on the autism spectrum, their families and friends, service providers, schools, businesses and local volunteers. Walkers advocate and take action for the diverse needs of the autism community.

The efforts made by Walkers help generate funds that fuel innovative research and make connections to critical lifelong supports and services.

Join the movement by registering for an “Autism Speaks Walk” at www.AutismSpeaks.org/Walk.